Streisand sorry for remarks on Jackson accusers
NEW YORK—Barbra Streisand apologized on Saturday for her remarks about Michael Jackson and the two men who have accused him of sexual abuse, saying that she should have chosen her words more carefully and that she admires the accusers for “speaking their truth.”
Streisand had received bitter criticism online after she was quoted in The Times of London as saying that Jackson’s accusers were “thrilled to be there” during the alleged abuse, which “didn’t kill them.”
After an initial statement Saturday to The Associated Press, in which she sought to clarify her remarks, the superstar of song, stage and screen posted an apology online.
“I am profoundly sorry for any pain or misunderstanding I caused by not choosing my words more carefully about Michael Jackson and his victims,” she wrote. “I didn’t mean to dismiss the trauma these boys experienced in any way… Like all survivors of sexual assault, they will have to carry this for the rest of their lives. I feel deep remorse, and I hope that James (Safechuck) and Wade (Robson) know that I truly admire them for speaking their truth.”
The apology went far beyond the earlier statement to the AP, in which she elaborated on her remarks, saying she felt “nothing but sympathy” for the men, who accuse the late star of molesting them as children.
She wrote earlier: “To be crystal-clear, there is no situation where it is OK for the innocence of children to be taken advantage of by anyone.”
The remarks in question came deep into a wide-ranging interview with The Times. Asked about Jackson, Streisand was quoted as saying she “absolutely” believed Robson and Safechuck, who make their allegations in the recent HBO documentary, “Leaving Neverland.”
Jackson’s estate has condemned the HBO documentary. Jackson, who died in 2009, was found not guilty in 2005 of charges he molested a 13-year-old boy.
Streisand called the documentary “too painful.”
Among those firing back on social media was the director of “Leaving Neverland,” Dan Reed, who wrote of that last quote: “Did you really say that?!”
Asked by The Times whether she was angry at Jackson, Streisand said: “It’s a combination of feelings. I feel bad for the children. I feel bad for him. I blame the parents, who would allow their children to sleep with him.” —AP
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